IC Decap, MEMS Gel coat removal and ‘through WL-CSP’ FIB edit capabilities available now.

IC Decap, MEMS Gel coat removal and ‘through WL-CSP’ FIB edit capabilities available now.

NanoScope has brought Dual-Acid decapsulation in-house, and extended those capabilities. This equipment was part of a larger equipment acquisition and more FA and other capabilities will become available over the next few weeks. By bringing these capabilities in-house we can further reduce the turnaround time of decap work for our semiconductor customers needing urgent Failure Analysis or Circuit Nano-Surgery (Circuit Edit), while ensuring that the quality remains high and the costs remain low. We are very pleased to have increased the depth of expertise within our organisation for supporting a wider range of Failure Analysis applications beyond Circuit Nano-surgery, high end microscopy and physical device analysis. Gel-coat removal for MEMS devices For MEMS clients needing access to Gel coated devices for Failure Analysis, Structural Analysis or Structural modifications with FIB, we have also added a chemical etch  process for packaged MEMS devices.  This service is available with the same fast-turnaround as our other services. A New FIB process for accessing a device ‘through a WL-CSP package’. Circuit Nano-Surgery to a device already packaged with CSP and RDL layers, can now be easily achieved without removing the package in most cases. CSP diagram Working through a CSP layer adds a little time to a surgical process, but has only a small effect on the efficacy or yield of a surgical intervention. Testing advantages WL-CSP packaging can also be a shortcut for the high speed testing of 1st Silicon engineering devices prior to FlipChip packaging. Working through these layers means that more complex edits can be performed ‘top-down’, with lower costs and higher yields, producing some significant time and cost savings....
New plastic package decapsulation capability launching soon.

New plastic package decapsulation capability launching soon.

            NanoScope is bringing additional capabilities in house – from Unisem. Unisem has been a key supplier for NanoScope Services for many years, and we have worked closely together to offer our clients the best support available from both sites. The unfortunate recent closure of the Unisem Crumlin site has been widely seen as a reduction in the strategic capabilities of the UK semiconductor industry, both in terms of the equipment available but also the extensive experience of the engineers who worked there. However, NanoScope has been successful in acquiring much of the FA capability of the Unisem facility and we are now in the process of transferring this equipment over to our Bristol Laboratory. We plan to offer Dual-acid decapsulation from early February 2014, with even shorter turnaround times than previously, with other techniques to follow. For more information please contact Lloyd Peto at NanoScope on 07768 172049 Or email...
Accelerating MEMS development with FIB Nano-Surgery

Accelerating MEMS development with FIB Nano-Surgery

In this article I will be discussing why the growth in MEMS development is lagging the growth that was witnessed for IC development in many respects – but highlighting that there are valuable lessons available to accelerate future growth too.Both for design and manufacture there are non-trivial challenges that continue to hinder the growth of this technology in the way IC technology developed. The emergence of Fabless MEMS design houses as a successful model is only just starting to expand. The promise of successfully mimicking Fabless Chip design houses as a functioning corporate model, has not happened as expected. Fabless growth is limited by many factors such as an absence of standardisation, a diverse range of foundry capabilities, and also that MEMS behavioural modelling is still the poor cousin of IC modelling.Independent MEMS foundries are also struggling to mimic the growth seen by their IC brethren. The lack of standardisation and the variety of FAB processes required to support a broad spectrum of MEMS designs, continues to be a hindrance. Routine volume based profits available from a dial-up/high yield/integrated process are proving elusive. Every MEMS Foundry is offering a different toolset and process book, and yields/costs can still be variable. Because the range of applications is so diverse, it is difficult to streamline or standardise the manufacturing process for clients supporting different markets. There are no ‘off the shelf’ processes that can be equally applied to devices as varied as a microphone and a gyroscope, and the old adage of ‘1 process/1 product’ is proving to be difficult to overcome. This situation is further complicated by the introduction of MEMS...
FIB is cool – but what about blogging?

FIB is cool – but what about blogging?

Apparently the only two things that you should never try are folk music and incest, so blogging must surely be in the other column. Well here goes…. I’m a first generation pure FIB technologist – in that my first microscope was a Focussed Ion Beam instrument and I only learned how to use an SEM and other techniques later on. The immediacy and interactive nano-surgery capabilities of the technology, captured my interest on day one, and I’m as hooked now as I was then. Since 1992 I have been lucky enough to work for Rutherford Appleton, FEI Company (twice)- now Thermo, Micrion Corporation (now FEI), Raith GmbH and now NanoScope Services. I’ve helped develop many of the main aspects of how this technology is employed – from writing the first published FEI TEM sample prep protocol, and developing new sample holders for the 611 and FIB 800, through 3D gun-shot residue and forensic analysis and AFM tip customisation, and leading the applications initiative for using Cryo-DualBeam within the Life-Sciences. The latest major project was developing and rolling out an entirely new FIB technique for truly automated 3D nano-fabrication using ultra fine Ga+ beams now called IBL or Ion Beam Lithography for Raith GmbH (see ionLiNE ). I have become co-author on over 100 publications for this application alone. ( I don’t have time to write papers myself). FIB is cool, and everyday we get to do cool new stuff for scientists and engineers from across the Nanotech spectrum. From Circuit Edit to Solid State Nanopores and frozen Fibroblast sectioning, from VCSELs and OLED’s to GSR and FZP’s, FIB is enabling...
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